The administration of Vice President Jejomar Binay, if he is elected President, will study other types of irrigation facilities and sources in order to provide more farmers with irrigation, according to his camp.
Binay has vowed to ensure self-sufficiency in food production for the country.
“The Binay administration will construct more irrigation facilities, aside from studying other possible sources of irrigation so that more farmers will be provided with irrigation,” the opposition United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) spokesman Mon Ilagan said in a statement on Saturday.
Ilagan added that aside from large-scale structures like dams, the other sources of irrigation are small-scale irrigation facilities including Small Water Impounding Project (SWIP), Small Diversion Dams (SWDs), Small Farm Reservoirs (SWFs) and shallow tube wells.
The SWIP, SWDs and SWRs collect rain and stream water for irrigation use while shallow tube wells draw water from aquifers.
“These SWIPs and the like are existing projects already of the government, but we need to address the demand for more irrigation,” according to Ilagan.
“Instead of merely draining away and causing floods in the valleys, it’s best to use the water coming from the upland areas in other meaningful ways to increase crop yields,” he said, adding that these structures can also be used for aquaculture as well as flood prevention and control.
Binay’s camp further vowed that his administration, if he wins in this year’s May elections, will also look into desalination and other means to provide irrigation water to vulnerable island municipalities, implement reforestation to protect watersheds from the impacts of climate change and ensure that water is available when needed.
Binay earlier said agriculture will be one of his administration’s priorities because the sector would generate jobs for most Filipinos who live in rural areas.
“We should also improve rural infrastructure facilities that will support an efficient delivery system for the farmers such as farm-to-market roads connected to highways, post-harvest facilities and irrigation,” he added.